After weeks of living with our hundreds of roommates, cooking together, attending training, completing physical training and serving together, it was time to pick our permanent teams for round 1. I had a good idea from early on of who I wanted on my team, and had a handful approach me about the topic. It was hard to narrow down the list, considering who would work well together while not dividing themselves from the rest of the group, what personalities wouldn't clash too hard, and also balancing ages and genders. Not only that but the other TLs would likely overlap wants with my own, but thankfully Earth Unit was made up from so many strong individuals that I didn't doubt my team wouldn't be great.
Over the course of my first month here, while spending hours in a conference room learning how to be a leader, there was one message repeatedly reiterated to us, as Team Leaders. Don’t fraternize with anyone, that sounds extreme, but we were directed not to cross lines with staff, corps members and the sponsor, so yeah basically everyone outside the green shirts. I’m all for this on the level of romantic relationships, honestly there just shouldn't’ be any of that in and around Americorps, but on a friendship level this rubbed me the wrong way.
As team leader training came to an end, the 27 of us began to mentally prepare for the arrival of our 240 corps members. We also had physical preparations, hanging posters and door decks, preparing their dorm rooms to look the least bit appealing, and planning all of the training that would be happening over the following three weeks. After the training and storytelling we heard from staff members and previous corps members, I was unsure about what to expected and slightly worried. I had faith though that the corps members assigned to Earth Unit would be amazing people and cause us no problems.
With training completely under way my 26 companions and I were quickly reminded what it is to sit and listen to presentations one after another, for hours on end. Our first few days of training were just this, without much break in the cycle. We did hold a few sessions outside in the courtyard, unless you count peeing in a cup and getting a flu shot as fun. Beginning last Wednesday though, we were able to get out and stretch our legs, first through driver training for the 15 passenger vans we'll soon be responsible for, and then a half day service project at Cherry Creek State Park. Those were just the warm up though, the big event was saved for the weekend (so yeah minus one day of rest for us), but the high ropes course at Genesee Park was worth it.
A Year of Service
My life, being anything but predictable, has taken another turn. Rather than moving to Jeju, South Korea - my original plan for Fall '18, I'm going to test drive Denver, CO and its surroundings, an area people just keep telling me "I'd love".